It is interesting that Physical Identity and Access Management (PIAM) and Identity Access Management (IAM) share similar names. In the past, those in Physical Security may have asked themselves why they should be concerned about what happens on the logical side, and similarly why should IT be concerned about the physical side. There is a new reality, in the world where governance and compliance are key business imperatives, organisations need to take a holistic approach to:
- who to manages and controls,
- to where and how people are accessing,
- the right access to the right areas, for the right reasons
- and that someone actually approved/authorized that access.
This is required in both the logical infrastructure as well as on the physical side in order to reduce risks.
A converged PIAM and IAM solution enables organisations to implement a rules-based approach to manage both physical and logical identity, with end-to-end audit trail, for compliance and governance. In today�s security-conscious enterprise, PIAM provides value by reducing both digital and physical security risks. The risk of compromise and loss of information is not limited to online hacking but also from physical presence with the opportunity to access papers lying on desks, physical unauthorised viewing of emails, presentations and documents off computer screen displays, over-hearing of sensitive conversations, just to name a few situations.
What may appear to be a valid identity to onsite network resources, does not guarantee they have come officially through the front door prior to this network access, because there is no correlation to identity information. For example, cloned physical access badges increase this risk of compromise from unauthorised persons being in restricted areas where there is sensitive information. Recently similar cases were reported in some developing countries, which poses a major risk.
Converged systems manage policies, procedures and access rules for on-boarding and off-boarding of worker identities. It removes security silos thereby reducing risks and limiting the chance of breaches. By integrating HR, PACS (Physical Access Control Systems) and other IT systems, you can improve efficiencies by automating workflow, business processes and management of physical access rights across multiple systems.
Subra Venkat is a technology Adviser with Prosys Services, based in Sydney. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org